What Do Parenting Coordinators Do?

I like to think that people should be informed about matters that involve them entering into a contract, especially where they are going to be paying thousands of dollars.  One of my biggest pet peeves is when parents get stuck in a contract they cannot get out of, and they never really agreed to in the first place.

The legal community does a very poor job of informing parents about what it means to work with a Parenting Consultant.  Usually, parents are strong armed into agreeing to have a PC appointed, and out comes the court order.  It happens quickly, and you really don’t know what a PC does, or how much they cost, until after a court order is issued that appoints one.  By the time you realize how the process works, you are stuck.

The following is a list of issues that a Parenting Consultant can decide about your children.  It is a list that I received when I went through training to be a Parenting Consultant.  If you were given this list at the time you were contemplating whether or not to appoint a PC, I truly believe that no sane person would ever agree to have a Parenting Consultant appointed.  Even when you are told that a PC will settle disputes about legal custody issues, you never imagine all the things they delve into about your family life.

I have used both Parenting Coordinator and Parenting Consultant to describe the role of these court authorities, but they mean the same thing.  Most places call them Parent Coordinators, but my home state of Minnesota calls them Parenting Consultants.

The following is the list of issues that a Parenting Consultant can decide, however, this is not all inclusive.  They can decide anything other than Custody, or Child Support.  Would you be willing to turn over decisions like this to Family Court?

PC duties by life's Doors Mediation

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About lifesdoorsmediation

I am a mediator, Life and Divorce Coach and an Instructor of a High Conflict Divorce Program.

2 responses to “What Do Parenting Coordinators Do?”

  1. Mike Downing says :

    Our daughter has been involved in a “high conflict” divorce and her 2012 divorce decree stipulates a PC. The first PC was great. She was Rule 114 qualified & trained as a PC in ADR. She had to resign since she could no longer be neutral due unacceptable behavior by our daughter’s ex-husband. The next PC has been a disaster for our daughter and her children and changed the 9:5 custody in the decree to 7:7. We have since learned that a PC was not created by state statute but is governed not by family law but by contract law.

    I would like to work with you to either create state statutes on PCs or abolish PCs like Pennsylvania.

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    • lifesdoorsmediation says :

      Hi Mike,

      I think that no good comes from having a PC, and yes, anyone can be one. They are supposed to be listed on the state’s list of ADR neutrals, and would therefore have to be a trained mediator. Once you agree to appoint a PC, a court order is issued. You can never stop having a PC if you have a court order that states you will use one for disputes. I continue to persuade people to say no to an appointment. It is not a perfect solution, but can save a parent’s sanity over time.

      I have spoken with a few trusted individuals in the Family Court System, but they all say it is a matter of contract, and the parties should not have signed a contract if they did not want one. I know that is only half the story. You practically have a gun to your head when you agree to an appointment, and lawyers never tell you that if you don’t agree to a PC, one cannot be appointed. You agree, and a court order comes out before you know what PCs do, and how much they cost.

      About 90% of my coaching clients are people dealing with the nightmare of a PC. Michelle MacDonald has added information about PCs in her latest Writ of Certiorari, let’s hope something comes of it, although, it might concern you to know that the Supreme Court has no jurisdiction over Family Court. Supreme Court statement on Family Court matters: The whole subject of the domestic relations of husband and wife, parent and child, belongs to the laws of the states, and not to the laws of the United States. Minnesota will have to solve the problem (as will all states), but they refuse to listen.

      https://www.change.org/p/united-states-supreme-court-grant-writ-of-cert-filed-november-4-to-determine-whether-child-custody-proceedings-and-family-laws-violate-the-rights-of-fit-parents-and-whether-children-have-reciprocal-rights-to-the-care-and-custody-of-their-parents/u/9062501?recruiter=184864826&utm_source=share_update&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=share_twitter_responsive

      Due to new revelations I have come upon, and the fact that Family Court and Parenting Consultant/Coordinators are for the most part, an experiment in lawlessness, please stay tuned to a new Political PAC that I am involved in, with a few others, http://www.redherringalert.org. Consider donating to the cause, or attending some of our upcoming events. Please sign up for email updates to get on the list to stay informed of our progress and events coming soon.

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